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Was married for 14 years. Unhappily 10 of the 14. Ugh. After legally separating, got on a dating site ... yeah, but honestly I was ready. Met this amazing guy, long story short after 6 months, he told me he realized he’s damaged. And, because of me I helped he see there’s good people in the world, etc.


Fast forward almost 1.5 years later, we’re still friends. But FWB. I’m basically at a point, I know I want something more long term. I have voiced this to him.


My question is, knowing that I am looking for a long term relationship... should I began dating again or take a break? What’s worked for you all? Technically, before my husband I never dated. I married super young, etc. thoughts? Oh, and any advice is appreciated!

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My gut says: date. But with some caveats.


Sounds to me that this chapter with this man has been important to both of you. He has discovered damage he needs to address, while you have discovered that what you want—and are ready for—is a longterm relationship. That's a good story, with a melancholy ending, as "longterm relationship" and "damaged" have never been great dance partners.


So, you end this thing, mourning it however you need to, so you can each now live the truth you've lit up in each other: longterm for you, damage addressing for him. Those are paths, as time as revealed, that cannot be walked within the FWB dynamic, one that kind of freezes you in place before those paths you need to walk.

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I took a year break after my marriage (oddly enough also 14 years) and then dated and eventually got into LTR that lasted 4.5 years.


I ended that in September and went on five dates in November with an AWESOME woman but she decided she doesn’t want a relationship right now and that’s all I am interested in so we parted ways a couple days ago. So I’m gonna date as I meet interesting women but I feel no urgency. That’s what’s working for me.


There’s no hard and fast rule, no matter what anybody says. Only you really know what feels right, and you might like people to validate it...but nobody can decide what to do now but you. The good news is you already know, deep inside, what the healthiest move for you is for now - if you’re willing to search yourself for it.

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Pardon- do you mind me asking damaged how? What do you mean damaged or what did he mean he was damaged? The reason I ask is because we're all dinged in some way or other. If you've lived past a certain point, yes, there are memories and memories are dings aka some residual damage or scars left behind. No one really rebirths themselves without any recollection or acknowledgement of the past and the things that might have occurred in the past tense. We carry parts of our old selves forward and recycle it into the future but those memories are left behind.


Arguably, my husband was damaged as was I before, during, after x, y, z. We weren't perfect when we met each other and we're still not perfect. We will never be able to undo the things or the life we've lived prior to meeting each other.


When you voiced your desire for a more stable or committed long term relationship, what were his thoughts in response? Was he clear with you that he didn't see a future with you or was the rest of the conversation stalled or to be continued at a later date?

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When my first marriage ended, I was separated a year and a half, although we lived together during that time until the house was sold, and then he agreed to sign the divorce papers. I thought I was ready to date, but made a lot of mistakes because my self esteem was lower than I realized, and I believe I've always had some sort of addiction to being with a guy, as I rarely went without a bf during my teen years until I married.


In hindsight, I wished I'd learned to be a happier person solo for a good year without the need of having the goal of having a man in my life so quickly after my divorce. Yes, I do enjoy having a lifetime companion and have one now, in my second husband. I just wished I could've avoided some of my cringeworthy moments with men when I thought I was ready to date but really wasn't.


When you do decide to date, make a must-have list and a dealbreaker list and stick to it. You'll also have to break all contact with your FWB. A future bf won't be comfortable with you staying in contact with an ex. It's a good time for you to start another chapter of your life with the new year just around the corner. Good luck.

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I agree with you. Basically, his response was just that he’s damaged - due to his ex wife. Not to give too much info...she woke up one day and told him she was not in love with him. I believe he’s not over his ex or maybe not healed ... yet, honestly, I think it’s a lame excuse, but I’m always the understanding person in every situation. I am dinged; we’ve all been through stuff. Crazy, I still believe in love, and all that It comes with!

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Excellent. Restart your life by joining some groups and clubs and taking some classes and courses and volunteering, etc to get out more. You can also get a good profile and pics up on some quality dating apps. Now that you have less baggage, you can start dating less damaged people. Some short term therapy to sort through any negative residual stuff from a bad marriage and drawn out divorce could help as well.

I’m divorced, have been for 9 months now.
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It seems like a year after my initial seperation before the divorce was finalized, I considered dating, and met men - but my mind wasn't ready. There wasn't a day that passed that I wasn't thinking about what happened and feeling the hurt. Anyone who came into my life and then was really a security blanket or a crutch to help me with my feelings. It took much much longer for me to present myself as I am without the baggage.

At that point circumstances made it difficult to have any kind of real relationship, I just didn't have the time to give another person.

Now I have been single for a few years and I got to the point of learning about myself and healing where I would make a great partner, but I still don't have the time to give. Now I've made myself all about responsibility and I have had a few knocks when I did try dating a few years ago that made me leery of the whole thing. I don't think I ever really had fun with it like some people seem to do.

I've had friends who are having lots of fun with dating, and I have friends who found someone to settle down with in the first year of being single. Their circumstances were different than mine, so it was natural that they would.

I agree with other's here that it's completely based on your own needs and wants, there is no rule that works for everyone.

There are a few safety tips I'd like to give though. Always let someone know where you are and when you plan to return. Always meet in a public place at first, and until you know you can be alone with them safely. Listen to your'gut', if someone makes you feel weird pay attention to it.

I hope my tips don't scare you, but I have honestly had situations in my experience to make me want to pass this on. Sorry.

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Not to give too much info...she woke up one day and told him she was not in love with him.

Can't help but `eye-roll' when I read this.


How many people say they their ex woke up one day unhappy or mysteriously depressed and wanted out? I will promise you there is a life time of reasons why she left. Do you need all the sorted details? Maybe not. But the fact that he takes the victim stance in the ending of his marriage would be red flag on the play for me.


My ex had the same story. - He didn't see it coming. Everything was perfect and I woke up one day depressed and wanted a divorce. Had he taken any responsibility for his part and told the truth of what the last few years were like, he probably wouldn't have gotten a date. Denial is convenient. At least for the time being.

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I agree with you. Basically, his response was just that he’s damaged - due to his ex wife. Not to give too much info...she woke up one day and told him she was not in love with him. I believe he’s not over his ex or maybe not healed ... yet, honestly, I think it’s a lame excuse, but I’m always the understanding person in every situation. I am dinged; we’ve all been through stuff. Crazy, I still believe in love, and all that It comes with!


Not "crazy" at all, that belief. I'd say that is strength to celebrate, and be celebrated by another. But it's a form of strength this man doesn't quite have, not yet, and so he cannot celebrate it and as such will "weaken" it in you.


Date around—something I've done a lot of, having lived a very different life than you as a never-married 40-year-old—and one thing you discover is that people hold onto pain at different frequencies. For instance: I went on two dates with a woman a while back who, after one kiss, started telling me about how she was "nervous" because I reminded her of a "big ex" who'd cheated on her. They'd broken up something like six years earlier, while I was a year out of a relationship in which I was cheated on and was hardly concerned about it happening again. I felt that pain, lived with it for a bit, let it go. It was a ding, to me, not damage. In searching for a partner I wanted someone else who operated on a similar plane. And so that was our first and last kiss.


In other words, it's not a "lame excuse," but simply how he operates, who he is right now and, thus, who he is alongside you or anyone. Much easier to accept that than go about trying to prove something is "lame." Go too far down that path and, more often than not, what you are proving is your own emotional unavailability by investing in someone who is "safe" because they have shown you they are unavailable and incapable of really going deep, which is often what people are saying when they self-identify as "damaged."


You sound awesome—and, all in all, you sound ready to explore a deep connection with someone. That said, perhaps a minute of "you time" would be good, to tune into your own depths—the thing you want seen by and shared with another. Maybe end this FWB thing, happy for the experience and for showing you what you really want, and give yourself a month or two (or more!) to just get settled in your own skin. Amazing the difference that makes, since most people you meet are not going to be right for you—that's just the hard math. Being settled in our skin makes doing that math easier, rather than shifting equations around to accommodate someone else's arithmetic, if that makes sense.

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Just take it for what it is. I've met people like that who weren't with it and then again, I was at a point like that too once or twice - too clouded and unable to see clearly or treat anyone else right because I didn't know how to treat myself right in the first place.


You owe him nothing. No generosity, no excuses, no friendship and no explanation. I think the relationship is superficial enough to disregard and significant enough to learn from briefly. He has to fix himself and feel better about his own shortcomings. You shouldn't be his therapist. I wouldn't bother going down that route. Lame is probably right and it's not a value judgment but just an adjective to describe the scenario overall.


Onwards and forwards.

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Your best bet is to make a life for yourself as a single person. Since you have never been on your own as an adult you need to figure out who you really are, what YOU like, what YOUR true interests are and on and on. There is no rush to date as there will always be men out there interested in you.


As far as this other guy goes what he told you is total BS! He just didn't want to admit he didn't want a relationship and pulled the "I am damaged" card. So he got what he wanted which was sex with no relationship. After you have been single for a while you will discover your true worth and the value of your love and you will be way less likely to waste it on some "Damaged" man.


Who knows as you discover who you are you just might bump into Mr. Right for you...




PS Kick Mr Damaged totally to the curb, if you want a FWB you have your pick so let him be alone and fix his damaged self.

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